Sara Grace is a founder of myGreenlight and today serves as Program Director.
Tool: Graphight contact management application, graphight.com
Price: Free while in Beta
The Good: Promising use of algorithmic technology to help focus you on the relationships that matter; offers (unintentionally) a tech-enhanced helper for some aspects of myGreenlight’s Relationship Action Planning
The Bad: Clunky interface problems typical of a beta; some confusion or inaccuracy when the system makes assumptions, such as when it rates the impact of a meeting you’ve held; no Iphone app yet, only Bbery and Android.
High-Level Take: The tool is effective for centralizing and filtering contact data and relationship history, and offers some impressive advances in contact management even in its beta. This could be a key resource to help you “Build your network before you need it” and nurture your most important relationships.
With its “Relationship Economy Engine” algorithm (and a scientific advisor from Eharmony), Graphight promises to “put you in control of your network, so your network works for you.”
The web site (where you can take a tour) says the app will:
- Advance new contracts into meaningful connections
- Strengthen existing relationships
- Measure the results of your networking efforts
And it promises that its goal is to create real relationships, not just contacts. In short, this does everything that we at myGreenlight would like a contact manager to do. So the real question is, how does this thing work – and how well?
For each contact, you can rate the importance of the relationship (what we call “relationship priority” at myGreenlight) as well as the current relationship strength, and the target.
For any contact you can bring up a “relationship history,” that lists any interactions you’ve had, along with their impact.
My experience, after dumping my Gmail and Outlook accounts into Graphight, was immediate overwhelm. How to focus when my database was awash in email addresses I didn’t even recognize?
I filtered by “Frequently” and decided to attack that section of my list – 129 contacts.
Like any beta, the app is currently plagued by minor but annoying UI problems. For example, if you’ve sorted by “Frequently,” you have to resort every time you delete a record. But the fact is, database management is laborious, tedious, and annoying, so a CRM really needs to make the technical input process as easy as possible. Their tour promises “no data entry,” but to make the application immediately useful, you really need to get in there and scrub, sort, and rate contacts using their sliders. If Graphight is going to succeed, they’re going to need to make everything ridiculously easy for the user – like buttuh! Because after I had gotten through rating about 30 contacts, I wanted to dive into a bathtub-sized martini glass and never go back.
But… I did instantly start to feel the rewards, when, in successive days, I popped open the “call sheet” feature, which recommends daily outreach based on who’s important, which relationships you’ve indicated you’d like to grow, and what your outreach has looked like lately. (I really would like to know how they figure out the “impact” of a meeting – I don’t see how it can be accurate, and it gave me a crazy amount of points for one incidence of a regular weekly account management check in with one of my colleages that I promise involved more yawning than bonding.)
The choices they made for me weren’t always right – but they did get me to make some outreach (or at least consider it… once again, you still have to do the work of building relationships, no technology is ever going to do that for you) I wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise, because the person wasn’t essential to my daily or weekly agenda. That said, they were on my monthly or quarterly agenda, and I really did need to check in with them, and wouldn’t have without a reminder.
So, what Graphight delivers is still imperfect, but pretty darn cool. If you want a tool to help you take “build it before you need it” seriously, Graphight is a step in the right direction.